Make It Happen
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Make It Happen Tipsheet

Have you ever seen a mistake in someone else’s blog or social media post?  Or maybe you’ve been a victim of this yourself?  It could be a simple typographical or grammatical error, a case of misattribution, or a more serious case of factual error.

Unfortunately, it happens far too often, for some very obvious reasons:

  1. Some content is dictated and the speech-t0-text software sometimes gets it wrong.
  2. Editing is done in a cursory fashion, or sometimes, not at all.
  3. Fact-checking, a staple of traditional publications, is rarely done for online content.  (And it is rarely done for traditionally published content either.)
  4. A post relies on a third party for facts, when, in fact, the third-party’s content may not be correct, or worse, the third party site may have relied on yet a different non-corroborated third-party source.

A few examples:

  • In a post entitled Six Top Thought Leadership Articles, there was some text that incorrectly said, “Here are sex posts that explore these concepts.”  The feedback was instantaneous (and a bit embarrassing).
  • In a recent Facebook post, I “quoted” the very prolific Albert Einstein, who said “Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”  Unfortunately, Einstein actually never said this.  (Hat tip to Larry Goldberg and others who pointed this out.)  In this case, we relied on third-party sites, who relied on other third-party sites within the world web web echo chamber.

Mistake repair strategy:

  1. When quoting a person, whether they are alive or dead, double-check the accuracy beforehand.  www.quoteinvestigator.com is a great place to start.
  2. Edit the post if possible.  If not, add a comment acknowledging the error.
  3. If the post is of lower value, and there are no comments attached to it, delete it entirely.
  4. As a courtesy, circle back to the source of the error and advise them of any necessary changes.

This week’s action plan:  The fact that errors do creep in begs the question of the quality of your content editing and review process.  This week, consider whether any of your errors were random or can be traced back to a systemic issue:  is it time to upgrade your editing process? Or add some fact-checking?

Can you find the error in this post?  Yes, there is an error in this post – did you happen to see it? Look for “speech-t0-text” within the post: the word “to” is spelled with a zero instead of an “o”.

Finally, a hat tip to the talented Daniel Wolgelerenter, a professional editor and copywriter, for going through earlier versions of this post.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com
:  Professional credentials site
www.108ideaspace
.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders

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Agile Methodology

by Randall Craig on March 17, 2017

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet,

Tagged as: , ,

Project managers the world over build Gantt charts, PERT charts, Work Breakdown Structures.  They focus on delivering on-time, on-budget.

No matter your role, is there something that can be learned from the profession of project management?

In the olden days – and sadly, “today” for many organizations – the most common project management approach is the so-called waterfall approach:

  • Market research
  • Analysis of requirements
  • Technical specification
  • Development
  • Testing
  • Bug-fixes
  • Final testing
  • Launch

This approach allowed for clear approvals at each stage, and cleverly separated the “client” of the project from those actually doing the work.

Unfortunately, this methodology has some significant disadvantages, chiefly that because of this separation, there is little or no collaboration during the project itself.  Said another way, the ground can shift during long projects, and therefore the needs may change significantly from the project start to project launch.

Enter Agile.  While the dictionary defines agile as “the ability to move quickly and easily”, from a project management perspective, agile means something very specific.  Instead of a long, drawn-out process, an agile process divides the project into a number of cycles, called sprints.  Each sprint would have three parts:

  1. Build:  Something is put together (a prototype, a pilot, etc)
  2. Test:  The kinks are worked out of the system.
  3. Demo:  Feedback is collected for action during the next sprint.

Agile Project Management

Agile provides a number of advantages over the traditional waterfall approach:

  • Real-time market research is embedded into the process.
  • There is collaboration and connection to the target users.
  • Continuous mid-course corrections and improvements.
  • Lower project risk, since progress is demonstrated continuously.
  • Faster time-to-market.

This week’s action plan:  While the example above might be for a digital development project, agile can be used anywhere.  Consider the projects that you are connected with: how many are managed traditionally, and how many are agile?  This week, begin the process of moving at least one to agile.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com
:  Professional credentials site
www.108ideaspace
.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders

 

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Trust, Website Security, and SEO

by Randall Craig March 10, 2017

Whether real world or on the web, trust is a powerful factor. For users of the popular Chrome browser, Google recently made a change that is sure to give many people pause.  Consider the image below: for the first time, the word “secure” appears within the URL bar. Contrast this, with this next screen shot, […]

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Insight: The Business of Risk

by Randall Craig March 7, 2017

What if something goes wrong? Most people are not keen on taking risks. A small faction of people are definitely risk–takers. Whether you are one or the other, the decisions you make often boil down to one ratio: The Risk-return equation. We spend a lot of time on Return, and a lot of time on […]

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Six Tests for Testing Trends

by Randall Craig March 3, 2017

How often have you read a prediction, statement, or about a trend, and began to wonder if it were true?  Sadly, with so many instant experts, pundits, and self-serving gurus, it is sometimes difficult to tell fact from fiction. Here are six tests that can help you improve your signal-to-noise ratio: A trend is defined to be a projection from a known state in […]

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Becoming an Efficient Thought Leader

by Randall Craig February 24, 2017

One of the more popular thought leadership “strategies” is to create relevant, provoking, leading-edge content.  Not only does this provide evidence of the thought leader’s special knowledge, but it also helps attract new followers, through sharing (social and real-world), and through discovery (Google, conference speeches, and publicity.) The most successful thought leaders recognize that this […]

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Six Top Thought Leadership Articles

by Randall Craig February 17, 2017

For most people in senior roles, the holy grail of recognition is embodied in two terms: Thought Leadership and Trusted Advisor.  Yet too often, these very terms are thrown around, overused, and just perhaps, may be losing their value. Notwithstanding this, the underlying concepts are powerful – with a matching value in the marketplace.  Here are six posts that explore […]

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Bloated Websites: Transparency vs. Accessibility

by Randall Craig February 10, 2017

How often are you frustrated by websites that have so many pages, it is impossible to actually find anything? Unfortunately, this is all to common of a complaint.  Websites are often used as corporate dumping grounds for every bit of information from every new initiative, often spanning backwards into the decades.  And every time the website is […]

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Customer Service: Automated, Templated, or Customized

by Randall Craig February 3, 2017

Many organizations struggle with setting up a social media (or email) response strategy.  How do you trust front line staff to answer properly, if they don’t know the policies?  How do you have a consistent response, no matter who responds, or when?  And how do you minimize service costs, while maintaining service quality? One thing is certain: […]

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Seven Disruptive Business Models

by Randall Craig January 27, 2017

Do you see your website, CRM, social media, and other digital initiatives as a way to improve service levels, market your organization, or be a central part of your thought leadership strategy?  While important, at best these are tactical approaches:  too often the bigger opportunity of digital transformation is ignored. This isn’t surprising, as digital initiatives are often driven from […]

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Insight: Software Costs in the Age of the Cloud

by Randall Craig January 20, 2017

Software has a cost, but it may not be as clear as you may think.  Yes, purchasing Excel may be straightforward, but what about CRM, Marketing Automation, a new financial system, or any other core database that requires collaboration across the organization? In the olden days, it was relatively simple:  the application was usually custom-written, and […]

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Five Steps to Reduce Risk

by Randall Craig January 13, 2017

Are you keen on risk?  Do you seek it out?  Most people and organizations don’t – and for good reason.  Yet risk is not necessarily bad: it is part of the risk-return equation; it identifies potential opportunity… and exposure. What is bad is unnecessary risk.  This simple framework can help: Step One: Identify all of […]

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New year, new thinking?

by Randall Craig January 6, 2017

While the new year may in fact be refreshing, have you ever considered that your approach to marketing might be, at best, dated? That you might be following a strategy of incremental improvement, when a completely new approach might be what is really called for?  If so, you’re not alone.  But why? It is much easier […]

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14 key digital planning reads for 2017

by Randall Craig December 30, 2016

Do you have a pile of reading, perhaps sitting at the corner of your desk?  Clippings that seem particularly important that you would get to “at some point”?  Or perhaps, a digital version kept safely in an obscure folder, just waiting for you to find the time to read? These clippings are particularly important, as they provide […]

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Consumerization

by Randall Craig December 23, 2016

Wikipedia defines consumerization as the reorientation of product and service designs to focus on (and market to) the end user as an individual consumer, vs an earlier era of organization-oriented offerings.  It speaks to growing markets by looking for a completely different category of buyer, who may also be an influencer for the organizational purchase. Of greater […]

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Brand values: reporter or columnist?

by Randall Craig December 16, 2016

Would you rather be a reporter, or a columnist? Reporters have a great combination of investigative skills, communication skills, moxy, and pluck. Columnists are made from the same raw material, but they get paid far more.  Why? Readers care more about what a particular person is saying than what a generic person says. Said another way, a staff reporter […]

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13 Resources for Writers

by Randall Craig December 9, 2016

Do you wish that you could be more effective with the written word?   Have you always hated writing, from the first time your grade three teacher insisted you write two paragraphs on what you did during the summer?  Or maybe you enjoy the idea of writing, but you don’t enjoy the reality of writer’s block. Written communication […]

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Websites: strategic assets or the newest commodity?

by Randall Craig December 2, 2016

There is an old “joke” in the web development world that is both funny and sad:  What is the difference between a $20,000 website, a $200,000 website, and a $2 million one?  Answer:  The gullibility of the client. In 24 years of building websites, we have yet to meet a gullible client, which is why […]

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Problem Solving with Appreciative Enquiry

by Randall Craig November 25, 2016

In the olden days, external advisors would be called in whenever there is a problem to be solved.  Proposals would be reviewed, contracts negotiated, references checked, and the engagement would begin. The consulting team would show up, diagnose the source of the problem, and help the management team focus exclusively on getting rid of the bad.  Then […]

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Building Front-line Buy-in

by Randall Craig November 18, 2016

If there has been one significant change in the area of marketing and engagement, it is the almost complete ubiquity of “programs”.  Some of them have names like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.  Others have names like Salesforce, Marketo, Dynamics, and Infusionsoft.  Yet despite the great fanfare, why does the system’s promise rarely materialize? Consider how the system is […]

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